With lifetime ban, Rice has no chance for redemption


Ray Rice
(Photo by Flickr user Keith Allison)

In today’s social media-focused world and the constant news cycle, it seems there are always eyes on celebrities. Whether or not this magnifying glass is a good or bad thing, we should all remember that whatever we ask for has consequences, and while they may not affect us, they could possibly ruin other people’s lives. Ray Rice is a man who has no history of violence, according to ESPN, and yet we treat him like he is one of the worst human beings around.

He did a terrible thing and there is no excuse for his actions. However, taking away his livelihood and banning him from the NFL should not be a solution. Despite what he has done, he should be allowed to do his job and make a living off of his passion. For years he worked and worked to master his craft, and for the public to take all of that away for a mistake is simply not fair.

Should he be punished? Yes. But he should not be ostracized and have his chance at redemption taken away. Taking away his livelihood not only destroys his dreams but also affects his entire family. His wife and children are affected by his release and indefinite suspension as that would mean that he would lose his income. They are accustomed to a certain kind of lifestyle. If that stands in divorce trials, it should stand when it comes to the career of a man, who, although he committed a heinous act, has asked for forgiveness and has been forgiven by his wife.

“Putting Janay Palmer-Rice in a position to plead for her husband’s career, perhaps being at the risk of being beaten again if she failed, that Roger Goodell did,” said Keith Olbermann when defending his claim that Roger Goodell resign from his position. It can be said that most victims of domestic abuse are too scared to stand up for themselves but to say that of Janay Palmer-Rice is just wrong. There is no way for anyone to know how she truly feels. She has expressed her forgiveness for her husband’s actions and even married him a month after the incident. What more could she say?

“No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted options from the public has caused my family … To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” This excerpt, from one of her Instagram posts, shows us one thing: that she has forgiven her husband for his mistake and wants to move on. But we still judge her and some have even gone so far as using social media to tell her that she is an awful example to all women for staying with Rice. Thinking that someone who has forgiven their partner for violence is weak is not only a gross suspicion but also very disrespectful to the strength of Janay Palmer-Rice.

We never think it is possible to achieve complete forgiveness. If she forgave him, who are we to say otherwise? We have no right chiming in on their marriage and taking away anything a man like Ray Rice has done positively. This is not a defense of his actions, but the punishment – indefinite suspension – does not fit the crime.